Is Maria Sharapova’s Shoulder Really Ready? Did Someone Perform an Integrated Assessment for Her and Prescribe Corrective Exercise for Her?

Is Maria Sharapova’s Shoulder Really Ready? Did Someone Perform an Integrated Assessment for Her and Prescribe Corrective Exercise for Her?

I am not so sure about either of those. I honestly have no first hand information to go from, but based on my experience I would say that no one looked at how here body moves as a whole, like during an overhead squat test.

Restrictions in joints down in the big toe and ankle can lead to upper extremity dysfunction. Maybe her primary area of concern is not her shoulder??? In this example, the athlete can not keep their feet straight ahead during their squat, this could mean tightness in their calves (amongst other tings), this will have a significant impact on her low back and the low back is most definitely connected to the shoulder via the latissimus dorsi. The human body is a wonderfully interconnected organism and the kinetic chain principle states that we are only as strong as our weakest link. Sometimes the weak link is somewhere other than where the pain is. an integrated approach will help to determine if that is the case.

I hope that they looked at the internal rotation in her shoulder as well. This picture demonstrates poor technique performing this assessment, but you get the gist. There should be 70 degrees of internal rotation at the glenohumeral joint from this position. The picture shows about 58 degrees, but with compensations at the shoulder.

If we look at what is happening at Maria’s shoulder dynamically, it appears that her shoulder is not internally rotating sufficiently during her follow through. That is a precursor to impingement syndrome, tennis elbow and rotator cuff tendinitis at the least, and other undetected issues throughout the kinetic chain at the worst. It is causing her shoulder blade to elevate and tilt forward and her trunk to lean too much to the side as well.

I hope they are not just doing massage, electrical stimulation and rotator cuff strengthening on her. There is much more that she, and most other tennis players and athletes in general need.

Soooo the next time your or one of your athlete’s shoulder hurts, or even better….BEFORE there is an injury, find a corrective exercise specialist or licensed health care professional that is truly proficient at completing an integrated assessment. An assessment that look at how the body moves as a single unit, that can help to pin point segments that are impacting the entire kinetic chain. this can save hours or pain and rehabilitation, keep players on the court and in Maria’s case…save hundreds of thousands of dollars. From there specific;

1) soft tissue work/manual therapy
2) flexibility techniques
3) joint mobilizations
4) activation techniques
5) coordination/total body strengthening techniques

…can be applied in a systematic manner.

Thanks for reading and remember to look at the big picture but pay attention to the small details!!

Eric Beard
Athletic Performance Enhancement Specialist
Corrective Exercise Specialist

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